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SDCC 08: ‘The Spirit’
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Geeks of Doom Invade SDCC 2008

SDCC 2008: The Spirit panelWriter/director Frank Miller has previously assured audiences that his adaptation of The Spirit is not another “˜Sin City’, even though the first teaser trailer released was very similar to Miller’s co-directing debut, Sin City.

But then the second trailer was released (which you can watch here below), and it seems like it really is similar to the noir look of Sin City. It also didn’t seem very similar in look to Eisner’s Spirit.

At the San Diego Comic-Con, Miller and producer Deborah Del Prete opened the panel for Liongate’s Spirit by showing that second trailer, as well as three other clips. The new clips do show that it’s not a Sin City carbon copy, but definitely more cartoonish — think Sky Captain meets Dick Tracey with a hint of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Miller explained that although the Spirit’s nemesis, The Octopus, was only ever shown by his gloves, never revealing his identity, in the film, the director felt that he could not get away with showing only the gloves. His film’s villain would need to be someone who was something big enough and frightening enough to fill those gloves, which is why he cast Samuel L. Jackson.

Then Jackson came out and talked about having to wield The Octopus’s heavy guns and how his goal is to be a kingpin. Jackson also said that Miller would take suggestions about filming from him (because this is Miller’s first solo directing gig).

SDCC 2008: The Spirit panel

Jackson revealed that Mace Windu from the Star Wars prequels is his favorite action figure of one of his characters. When someone yelled out, “Nick Fury,” Jackson quipped, “When I was a kid, Nick Fury was a white man!”

After talking about The Octopus, the panel moved on to talking about the ladies of The Spirit, including Jaime King, who came out for the panel. King plays the beautiful Lorelei, who is a kind of angel of death for cops and sailors who has an obsession and infatuation with The Spirit.

One of the clips that was shown was of The Spirit and the true love of his life, Ellen, played by —. In the scene, The Spirit is trying to woo her and it’s working, though she tells him that she knows that he falls in love with every woman he meets and that none of them even know his real name. Because he loves her, he says he’ll tell her his real name, but then they’re interrupted. The Spirit is then introduced to a rookie female cop and just as Ellen said, The Spirit puts on the charm for the rookie, kissing her hand and rushing to open to the door for her. When he leaves, Ellen calls him a bastard and throws a scalpel.

After the film’s title star, Gabriel Macht came on to the panel, he talked about the Spirit’s backstory and his relationship with The Octopus. This lead into a clip that was a wet, dirty fight scene between the two. This was definitely the best clip shown, as it had action and humor. We see the Octopus hitting the Spirit over the head with an oversized wrench, a huge cinderblock, and finally a toilet! As the Spirit stands trapped with the toilet around him, the Octopus laughs and says, “C’mon, toilets are always funny.”

The filmmakers stressed that although there’s parts in the film that will make you laugh, there’s nothing campy about The Spirit‘s humor; the humor instead is very organic.

Another clip shown was of Eva Mendes’ character Sand Saref, a sexy jewel thief, doing an underwater sequence. The filmmakers wanted her hair and makeup to look perfect under water, just like it would in the comic book. So instead of filming underwater, which is difficult, they used special effects to make it seem like Mendes was under the water.


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